US, China to resume talks in bid to avert trade war

White House trade and manufacturing adviser Peter Navarro a member of the U.S. trade delegation to China leaves a hotel in Beijing

The controversy comes as Trump appears increasingly open to smoothing over differences with China in an attempt to avert a trade war before the midterm elections.

But there have been signs China is seeking to add a number of unrelated measures to the trade talks, and President Trump has shown a willingness to entertain them. But the Treasury secretary was just following protocol in meeting one-on-one with his Chinese counterpart as the head of the delegation, according to a senior administration official.

Bloomberg reported that Peter Navarro, President Donald Trump's hardline anti-China trade adviser, has behaved "erratically and unprofessionally" and was unhelpful during a recent trade trip to Beijing.

Navarro was brought on to the Trump campaign in 2016 after Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law, came across the economist's book, "Death By China", during an Amazon search.

China has promised to retaliate in equal measure, targeting USA soybeans, aircraft, autos and other goods for additional tariffs.

Rubio said the Chinese telecom companies are "agents of the Chinese government". The discord creates a window for Chinese leaders to try to play advisers off each other during sensitive trade negotiations between the world's two largest economies.

"We have not seen China's demands yet, which should be few in that previous US Administrations have done so poorly in negotiating", Trump said.

The White House's harshest China critic, Peter Navarro, will not be one of the principal American officials at U.S. They also said he has of late "behaved erratically and unprofessionally".

The lawmakers said the meeting did not address Trump's pledge on Sunday to help Chinese telecommunications equipment maker ZTE Corp 000063.SZ get back in business after a Commerce Department ban cut off its supply of USA components.

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Beijing said it had taken note of the positive words in Washington on lessening sanctions on ZTE.

The delegation members include Governor of the People's Bank of China Yi Gang, Vice Chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission Ning Jizhe, Deputy Director of the Office of the Central Commission for Financial and Economic Affairs Liao Min, Vice Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang, Vice Minister of Industry and Information Technology Luo Wen, Vice Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao, Vice Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs Han Jun, as well as Vice Minister of Commerce and Deputy International Trade Representative Wang Shouwen.

The Trump administration trade delegation that traveled to China two weeks ago has been referred to by at least one person briefed on the trip as the "trade avengers". On the Chinese side, that included "appropriately dealing with the ZTE case", according to an unofficial translation.

Commerce Secretary Ross has said twice in the past week that the two sides had exchanged detailed lists of demands. That prompted the Chinese company to announce last week it was ceasing business operations.

Earlier this year, when Trump made clear that he would stake out a tough position on trade policy, Navarro emerged as one of the White House's most pivotal figures.

China also wants the United States to back off its threat to impose tariffs on $50 billion to $150 billion of Chinese goods, ease controls on exports of high-technology goods to China and reduce barriers to Chinese investment.

The two countries are reportedly attempting a swap: Relief for ZTE in return for Beijing dropping plans to impose tariffs on USA farm products.

This week's talks are taking place against the backdrop of three days of hearings on the administration's plan to impose tariffs on an initial $50 billion worth of Chinese goods to put pressure on China to do a better job of protecting US intellectual property and to halt practices that force American companies to transfer technology.

Mnuchin and Navarro are both very close to President Trump, but have much different viewpoints on trade policy.

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